How to deal with back to school stress

I’m a little stressed because it’s the new year and I’m not sure what to do. Can you help me out?

Shay Willis, Columnist

We’re all probably in that spot where we’re scared and nervous for the new year. I know I am. The new year brings new challenges, new responsibilities, and just new things that we aren’t familiar with. Freshman face the prospect of high school (don’t worry, it isn’t as big or bad as the middle schools make it seem), sophomores are worried about their new classes and trying to get their footing (this is probably your best year so enjoy it), juniors are facing the SAT (I’m right there with you, we can get through this together), and seniors are facing college and career paths (I hear college is much more enjoyable than high school so hang in there). Regardless of your situation, you might be experiencing some back to school stress and anxiety. But don’t worry, it’s not a forever thing, and there are a few things you can do to ease yourself into the new year.

First, tell yourself it’s going to be okay because it will. In my experience, life finds a way to work itself out one way or another. Sure there might be a few speed bumps along the way, but they can be overcome and passed.

Take time to go see your counselor. If you’re freaking out because you took too many rigorous classes or you overloaded yourself, they are there to help you. It is literally their job to help you in school. They are there to aid you with academic planning, social and emotional support, and college and career planning. And they are not as intimidating or scary as they may seem, and they’re really fantastic and helpful. You can trust them to help you figure out your options for going forward. If that means dropping a class for a study hall or working out a plan to get some help, they’ll be there to help you out.

Know that it’s okay to be nervous. High school is stressful, and it’s not going to be all smiles and rainbows all the time. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and a little out of your element, everyone feels that way at some point or another even if they won’t admit it. Your feelings are valid in this, and it’s okay to be nervous just so long as you know the nervousness will pass.

Seek outside support. Someone to talk to is fine, but you just need an outside source to help vent your worries to. You’ll need someone who can listen to you and help to ease your fears outside of the school atmosphere. It pays to have somebody on the outside who isn’t always in your business all the time because they don’t know the full story and can learn it from you.

The prospect of the new year is daunting without a doubt, but know that after these first few weeks, it’ll get easier. Everyone struggles here in the initial stages of the new year, it’s normal. You’ll get through it. The stress will pass as you get into the swing of things. You’ll fall into a routine and it’ll slowly become natural again. And then when it’s all said and over, you will be ready to take the rest of the year head on and finish it out with a bang!